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Wealth welcomed, the poor shut out

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Issue 1703

What we think

Wealth welcomed, the poor shut out

IT IS hard to pick up a newspaper or watch the news without hearing the words “global economy”. Politicians and the press agree that we live in a global system in which wealth and production can shift around the world as never before.

They argue that there can not be any restriction on the movement of wealth. Yet the very same politicians and press would deny the same freedom of movement for the majority of the world’s people. Those who seek refuge in Britain and other rich countries do so precisely because their lives have been wrecked by the global capitalist system our rulers endorse.

The swings of the global market bring devastation to whole communities and economies. One million children are sentenced to death every 50 days as a direct consequence of the debt that is squeezed out of the poorest countries by bankers and governments.

Multinational companies make billions from arms sales which encourage wars and conflicts. Rulers whip up “ethnic” divisions to try to divert people’s anger. And when such conflicts threaten the interests of the world’s major powers they intervene with their vast armies and weaponry, causing devastation and creating even more refugees.

Yet those who try to flee from poverty and war face a fury of scapegoating and racism. The result is a tragedy like that at Dover, where 58 Chinese refugees suffocated to death in their attempt to reach Britain. Politicians and press magnates make exceptions, of course.

They take it for granted that the rich can move as freely as the wealth they control. They flit between plush homes, villas and hotels scattered across the globe in private jets and luxury yachts. But if wealth can move then people, whose labour creates all the wealth, should be free to move too.

Without immigration the falling birth rate in every industrialised country will mean falling populations. Immigrants always enrich a country, as ordinary people from different cultures mix. That is why socialists are against all immigration controls. We say refugees fleeing persecution and war or “economic migrants” fleeing poverty are welcome here.

Last week thousands of people in London marched to support the refugees who are fleeing the effects of the global capitalist system. We also need to fight the governments, corporations and big financial institutions which create the desperate conditions that cause people to flee.

That means building on the hatred of capitalism and spirit of resistance shown in the brilliant anti-capitalist demonstrations in Seattle and Washington.

Thousands of people from across Europe are planning to protest against the World Bank and International Monetary Fund meetings in Prague this September. In Britain protesters are planning a protest outside the Labour Party conference in Brighton in solidarity. We urge all our readers to do everything they can to build for these protests.

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